Driverless shuttle bus trial

A two-year trial of autonomous vehicles at Sydney Olympic Park

Through Transport’s Smart Innovation Centre, the NSW Government is working with industry and research partners, including Australian universities, to trial a highly automated passenger shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park.

Automated vehicle technology has the potential to reduce death and injuries on NSW roads that result from factors such as driver fatigue, driver distraction, speed and inexperience.

The pilot is the first precinct-based trial of an automated shuttle in Australia and is the first trial of vehicle automation to take place in NSW. With a focus on testing automated vehicle technology, the trial presents a unique opportunity to develop a research platform that improves customer mobility.

The trial aims to understand what supporting technology and infrastructure is needed to operate an automated shuttle in this environment, how it interacts with other precinct users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) and how it integrates with the broader transport network. We will also better understand passengers’ responses to this type of vehicle and the services it can enable, like on-demand transport in off-peak times.

Transport for NSW is working with industry partners HMI Technologies,Telstra, NRMA, IAG and Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) to deliver the trial. We are also engaging university research partners to support technical aspects of the trial, customer-centric design thinking and identify opportunities for the trial to contribute to broader research.

NSW has a strong university research base in CAV-related fields, including sensor technologies, software engineering, data analytics and high-value manufacturing. This provides NSW with significant expertise that can support the development and deployment of CAVs, as well as competitive advantage in CAV technologies.

Findings from the trial will help to further the understandings of the system requirements of automation within the Australian context. What we learn will be a direct input into our future transport planning and investment decisions to continue providing the best outcomes for transport customers across NSW. It will also help industry develop technology, products and services to deliver improved mobility for customers.

Stages of the Trial

Stage 1 (Q3 2017) of the trial will involve testing in an enclosed off-road environment at Newington Armory, adjacent to Sydney Olympic Park.

Stage 2 (Q1 2018) progresses to initial operation at a closed section of Sydney Olympic Park.

Stage 3 (Q3 2018) involves the shuttle operating live at Sydney Olympic Park. This tests things like infrastructure, how customers will interact with the vehicle and provide an opportunity for general public to experience the automated vehicle.

For more information on the trial, please see the Driverless Vehicles Projects Page.